Prostate Cancer is a medical term for a disease in which the cells of the prostate gland begin to grow abnormally. It is a disease that only affects men since prostate gland is absent in the female body. American men over the age of 50 are more susceptible to getting this disease and most people who have prostate cancer die of some other disease. Men with a history of prostate cancer in their families are more likely to develop this disease in their late 60’s.
According to some statistics, African-American men are more likely to get prostate cancer as compared to Asian and Latin American men. The only to diagnose this disease is regular screening and it can only be treated if it is caught before it spreads to other parts of the body.
What is Prostate?
The prostate is a gland in the male reproductive system. This gland is the size of a walnut but the size is often found to be greater in older men. It is located just beneath the urinary bladder and the upper part of the urethra passes through the prostate. It makes up most of the fluid of the semen and plays a vital role in urine control in men.
The fluid made up by the prostate nourishes and transports the sperms so that they can reach the female ova. When the body orgasms the prostate contracts and pushes all the fluids through the urethra outside the body.
Early Signs of Prostate Cancer?
- An excess of Prostate Specific Protein (PSA) in the bloodstream.
Early Stage of Prostate Cancer
Prostate Cancer begins with a slight change in the shape and size of the prostate gland cells. This condition is called Prostatic Intraepithelial Neoplasia (PIN). Low-grade PIN is nothing to be worried about but a high-grade PIN can turn into an aggressive disease in future. It is always advised to undergo a screening process to catch it at an early stage when it is treatable.
Around 50% of the men above the age of 55 are at risk of getting this disease.
Symptoms of Prostate Cancer
There are almost no symptoms of prostate cancer when it is in its earliest stage. Below symptoms are observed at later stages
- Troubled urination
- Blood in urine stream
- Difficulty in erection
- Frequent urge to urinate
- Pain in the bones especially femur and spine
- Leg weakness
- Urinary and fecal incontinence
Risk Factors for Prostate Cancer
Age – Men above the age of 50 are at risk of getting this disease. It is very uncommon that a younger male would get this disease.
Ethnic and Genetic Factors – In US, black men are 60% more prone to getting prostate cancer as compared to the Hispanic white men. Similarly once contracted, the disease progresses very aggressively in the former as opposed to the latter.Similarly, if your brother, father or uncle had this disease then chances are that you might become a victim of this disease. If one of the identical twins has the disease then chances are the second twin will also get it.
Geography –This disease occurs more frequently in North America, North Western Europe, and Australia due to unknown reasons.
Diet – According to a research, a diet rich in red meat or high-fat dairy products may increase your chances of developing this disease.